Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the iOS Purification Directives. We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology where each worker may bloom, secure from the pests purveying contradictory truths. Our Unification of Computing is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth. We are one platform, with one will, one resolve, one cause. Our enemies shall litigate themselves to death, and we will bury them with their own confusion. We shall prevail!
- David Graham (Big Brother), Apple's 1984 commercial
Read it. I don't care if it's TLDR. Read it and tell me this isn't where we're heading. Read it and tell me that you're not another mindless skinhead sitting in the pew staring up at Big Brother in awe, totally slack jaw. Read it and tell me that Apple didn't foretell their own future in that advert, and that we're not all steaming towards the virtual equivalent of what was depicted by the very same people who sought to create a computer market full of creation and freedom.
The only difference between 1984 and 2012 is that there's no athletic heroine running down the hallway about to swing a giant hammer and toss it through the screen. Nobody is coming to save us this time. There will be no light washing over you in a sudden burst of shattered glass and wind.
I've brought up "the new Apple" several times in this forum now and it simply astounds me how many people are simply willing to go along with the way things are heading. I am completely baffled at this newfound attitude of "Well you can simply workaround it and adopt a completely new and totally different mindset and workflow... Once you've done that and you're willing to do anything- literally anything to get a meagre grasp back on what you once had, then it really doesn't seem that bad!".
It makes no sense. People are willing to stand up and fight for freedoms threatened by things like SOPA, PIPA, and even ACTA. But as Apple continues to head towards their utopian iOS unification of computing, all I hear is crickets and the mindless blabbering of those already brainwashed into believing that it's better for them- once the pain caused by the steel rod of forced change being rammed through your mind subsides and euphoria sets in, it'll all be OK.
Like a lot of people, I bought into Apple a very long time ago. Owned an Apple II, 512K, Quadra, several PowerMacs, and eventually switched to NeXT (a Turbo with the Dimension board- still got it sitting in the original shipping boxes and I occasionally fire it up to serve as a wonderful reference point for where we've been and where we are now). I watched Steve Jobs get kicked out, I sat by and saw JLG split to found BeOS Inc and I even had a BeBox at one point in time (wonderful computers, nice to see Haiku picking up that torch). I was at WWDC in the crowd when Amelio trotted out Jobs for the first time since exile and I quite clearly remember the standing ovation that seemed to last for hours.
I've used practically every Mac OS released, from SOS to MacOS 1.0 through to 9.2.2. From Mac OS X Server 1.0 (not 10.0- the archaic Pre-Aqua release based on Rhapsody) to Mac OS X 10.0 through to 10.6.8.
Every single step of the way I have perpetually felt like I was moving towards something "better". Every successive release of each Apple product I'd purchased was a breath of fresh air. The walls of computing were fading away off into the distant horizon, and after time I came to realize that I could depend on Apple to do the right thing, that they'd never abandon me and that they'd never let me down (no this is not a rickroll).
Recently, though, I feel as if the sun has been setting on Apple. That the bright white future they offer has turned into a dark and gloomy dystopian future where I'm forced to accept their hand holding, where I'm instructed to take my seat on the pew in the 1984 commercial and listen to what Big Brother has to say this week. What once felt like a spacious retreat of freedom now feels like the claustrophobic encasement of an elevator (sorry, I think the correct term for this is "security sandbox").
And I don't like it.
I want to love Apple because I have before. Computing has never been abrasive for me because using Apple tech has been one of the most delightful experiences I've ever had. I can honestly say that Snow Leopard is better then Leopard, that Leopard was better then Tiger, Panther, Jaguar, Puma, Cheetah, and Hera. Just as MacOS 9 was better then MacOS 8, going back to the original floppy booting systems when we didn't have gigabytes of disk space to fill with bloated code all so that your email client can animate the creation of a new message.
I don't mind where Apple is going, if only I had a choice. "But you have a choice!", the fanboys inevitably scream. "You can stay on XYZ forever! You don't have to upgrade!". Right, tell that to the users who couldn't sync with their iPhone N (where N is between 1 and infinity) because iTunes wasn't up to date, and the latest version required requires an entirely new operating system.
Simply halting the passage of time is not a solution, it is a temporary stopgap. Sooner or later the present will catch up with you, and if it doesn't- then you're probably a technological hermit living off in a cave somewhere with a laptop that still boots Mac OS 8 (woo for Appearance Manager! Remember those times?).
So I don't know what to think. I don't appreciate being badgered and belittled by the company that has been a major sinkhole for my personal finances since the Apple II. All I want is choice. That's all.
When did choice become a four letter word? When did Apple decide they knew best for all?
I could have sworn it was "Think Different".
Not "Think Indifferent".